Trinity Trigger Review | RPGFan

Trinity Trigger Review |  RPGFan

Trinity trigger is the latest game developed by FuRyu and distributed in the West by XSEED Games. Conceptually it harks back to action RPGs from the 90s, such as Mana’s Secret, with the intention of making gaming systems more accessible for modern audiences. We have some big names associated with the development team, with Nobuteru Yki (Mana’s Secretworld construction designers), Raita Kazama (Chronicles of Xenobladecharacter designer), Yura Kubota (Octopathic travellerscreenwriter) and Hiroki Kikuta (Mana’s Secret, composer) bringing some serious creative flair to the game. With the high expectations such a team could inspire, Trinity trigger not the instant classic I was hoping for.

A short but cute animated cutscene plays when you start a new game. Honestly, I don’t think this cutscene was the best choice to open the game. While well done, it felt like a bit of a spoiler, showing us a situation that the game’s characters know nothing about until much later in the story. You know when a game’s story tries to make a breakthrough and you complain that the foreshadowing was all too obvious? That.

After the cutscene, we are introduced to the protagonist ofTrinity trigger: Cyan. He is a young man who earns a living for himself and his adoptive sister, Firn, by excavating local ruins. There is nothing remarkable about him except that he has a bright red Chaos God mark in his right eye. The opening sections take place with Cyan setting off from his city on a short expedition. As he walks home, he has an eerie feeling, as if he’s being followed. However, he never actually sees anyone and has no real reason to feel insecure. Shortly after safely returning to his home, he meets Elise. He’s another main character, but the way they meet and begin their journey feels contrived at best. Elise gives Cyan a flimsy explanation of how he must flee to a nearby town to escape the killers. We learn that Cyan is a Warrior of the God of Chaos and he must embark on a heroic quest to defeat the Warrior of Order, as ordered. The war between the Gods of Order and Chaos is a tried but ongoing feud, and we’re set for the ride as things heat up for another cycle.

These movies are very nice, I just wish there were more.

Right away, one of my main criticisms of Trinity trigger it is the pace of his narrative delivery. On the one hand, the game has a lovely world-building, with a deep myth of an ongoing war between the gods and its impact on the landscape world of Trinitia. On the other, the dialogue feels overly dependent on this tradition to move things forward. There are many instances where I wished the tradition was more subtly integrated. As it stands, exposition often interrupts the flow of events by over-explaining things. This was evident from the start of the game, with Cyan’s first threat explained through dialogue; he only trusts Elise with assassins because she knows about the mark on Cyan’s eye. I may be too wary, but my radar of unknown danger would not encourage me to pursue this woman. More likely I would have suspected that she was the dangerous person following me, but she is. I want to clarify that I liked the premise and the overall narrative – the conversations let me down.

I immediately loved how similar the character models are in style to those in The covenant alive, one of my favorite FuRyu games. The artwork used during the characters’ conversations is also very well done. While some characters look a little similar (there are a lot of blondes), each character is distinctive enough to be memorable. This picture quality continues right up to the environments. While some areas are a little less memorable than others, the use of color variations and region-specific detailing means that each area has its own identity.

A screenshot of a conversation between characters in Trinity Trigger.
The character art is beautifully presented, but the cutscenes could use a little more variety.

The voice work adds to how well each character is crafted, though anyone hoping for dual-language audio will be disappointed. There is an option to auto-advance text during cutscenes, but what bugged me is that text appears slower than audio lines. This made for awkwardly paced cutscenes, which is a shame because the voice work overall was very solid. The voice acting was the highlight of the dialogue because writing during cutscenes wasn’t the most engaging read.

You’d think an action RPG might have realized the importance of conveying narrative through gameplay in tandem with its cutscenes. However, almost every part of the exposition is delivered strictly through novel-like visual sequences, albeit without any player input. As I said before, these scenes have beautiful art, but they didn’t impact me enough to keep me engaged. Instead, it left me disconnected from the characters and their motivations, with the introductory sequences being an obvious example. I have a feeling the developers are experimenting with how they deliver their story content; looking back at The covenant alive, that game had a little more variety with its cutscenes but didn’t have voice acting. In future games, I hope FuRyu can further refine their story segments in a way that works within their budget and resources.

Luckily, Trinity triggerThe fighting gameplay of is its strong point. The playable party quickly fills up with his own Trinity of the protagonists and the various levels of mechanics from there. Each character has a quirky pet companion called a Trigger, and damn, that’s the name of the game. Erm. Triggers can transform into various weapons, from swords and bows to axes and more, with the main driving force of the game being performing rituals in different Weapons to obtain all eight forms. Armas are giant weapons of the gods who fell on Trinitia during the War of the Gods, each large enough to become dungeons or even places of residence in the lands. Your party members can switch between weapons at any time using the ring menu, a faithful recreation of the UI of Mana’s Secret.

A screenshot of a Weapon location in Trinity Trigger.
This aptly named man will greet you in each town and impart some local lore to you.

You’ll need to switch weapons regularly if you hope to exploit enemies’ weaknesses, but I’ve found that simply keeping each party member using a different weapon type often covers you for different situations. One fun aspect of the weapons is the customizable chain attacks, where you can choose between two skills for three consecutive hits. At first I didn’t understand the system. I thought it had something to do with each Trigger’s special abilities, but had a blast when I realized I was in control of how each party member landed their basic attacks.

Further added to the customization of each weapon are stat-altering gems called Manatites. Each weapon can equip up to three Weapon Manatites and three Armor Manatites. There are several ways to get Manatites, such as crafting or finding them, but managing them gets a bit tedious the more weapons you have. If each character has all eight weapons available, with six Manatite slots per weapon, then you’re looking to obtain and upgrade 48 Manatite per character. It’s not necessarily a huge burden, and I appreciate the various effects available, but some quick-equip features would have been nice.

A few times, I felt like the specific mechanics of the environment were working against me in a way the developers didn’t intend. For example, while exploring one of the Armas, I had an annoying problem with room boundaries. Exactly where you transition from room to room is not displayed, and when pushing back and chasing enemies, it’s easy to accidentally and unintentionally leave the room. In fact, this isn’t even limited to player error. Even party members you don’t actively control can force you to leave the room if they’re following an enemy and cross these invisible boundaries. I’ve only encountered this issue on a very few occasions, the most egregious being a small room full of enemies that mimic chests, but it was frustrating.

A screenshot of a desert environment in Trinity Trigger.
The environments are bright and colorful, with plenty of rewarding exploration.

You’ll be doing a fair bit of back-tracking if you want to do all the side-quests, but I’ve never found it particularly tiring. Past areas open up more as you get new weapons and fulfill other requirements. Other than that, with save points acting as fast travel destinations, the secondary content is a pleasure to complete and helps flesh out Trinitia’s world-building. Things like simple fetch searches give you a glimpse into how residents live their lives. One quest saw me help an old man find his eye drops; the light-infused local flora gives him dry eyes, and he wants to read his grandson a bedtime story. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but these little details show that the developers care about the world they’ve built.

Finally, the music throughout Trinity trigger it is constantly nostalgic and often reminded me Mana’s Secret. That’s no surprise, given that Hiroki Kikuta has been working Mana’s Secret. However, with the aim of Trinity trigger being to make an accessible yet nostalgic modern game, it was nice to hear him create this completely new soundtrack without it feeling contrived or too reliant on those 90s sounds. Despite this, some tracks are less memorable than others, but there’s no high without low. This general inconsistency left me both satisfied Trinity trigger overall but still wishing he had done more.

I recommend Trinity trigger to fans of old school action RPGs; the combat is fun, the graphics are a delight, and the atmosphere is unique. Unfortunately, other areas were either missing or causing frustration, and I’m not sure all the design decisions complement each other. My biggest ire is the pacing and delivery of the story; what’s there is fine, but it seemed mediocre to me because I’d lost the engagement. However, combat and exploration are this game’s main strengths, so many of you will be able to look beyond its shortcomings to enjoy what is on offer. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a diamond in the rough, but I’ve had less fun with more polished games. It’s a short game, around 20 hours, and with more and more people looking for something other than an 80 hour investment, Trinity trigger it’s a fast game. I’ll commend it for creating its own identity and not relying too heavily on the tropes and gameplay elements from its source of inspiration, but don’t expect a modern classic.

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